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									                 COURSE SYLLABUS
 THE ART OF YOGA AND MEDITATION:                                  PHILOSOPHY AND
Contact and Course Information

Professor: Dr. Andrea Mantell- Seidel
Course number: REL 5937 Special Topics Sec. U01
Credits: 3 credits
Semester: Spring 2012
Course Times: T/ TH 9:30- 10:45; Tues. 11-12:15

Office Hours: T/TH 12:30-1:50 or by appointment
Offices: DM 320 C
Phone: 348-4293

Required Class Materials:
       Comfortable clothes
       Yoga mat (recommended) or cotton blanket
       Towel, something to cover eyes for meditation
       Optional: yoga blocks, yoga belts, water bottle
       Journal book
       Text Books
       FIU e-mail account

"Florida International University is a community dedicated to generating and
imparting knowledge through excellent teaching and research, the rigorous
and respectful exchange of ideas, and community service. All students should
respect the right of others to have an equitable opportunity to learn and
honestly to demonstrate the quality of their learning. Therefore, all
students are expected to adhere to a standard of academic conduct, which
demonstrates respect for themselves, their fellow students, and the
educational mission of the University. All students are deemed by the
University to understand that if they are found responsible for academic
misconduct, they will be subject to the Academic Misconduct procedures and
sanctions, as outlined in the Student Handbook."


The Art of Yoga and Meditation II: Philosophy and Practicum: Through a concentrated study
of yoga asanas (postures), mantras (sacred chants), meditation techniques, pranayama (breath
control) and philosophical and religious scriptures, students will engage in questioning, analysis,
and application at a more advanced level. Studio and theory.


Your final grade will be composed of your take-home exam grades, participatory in-class
activities and journal, and the final research paper.

Grades are based on attendance, written assignments, class participation, mid-term exam, and the
term paper.
40% -Term paper
30% -Mid-term exam
30% -Attendance and active class participation (evaluation based on attendance record,
punctuality, concentration, attitude/effort, progress, in-class assignments and focus questions,
journal). Students will be given weekly discussion or assignments of particular sutras to analyze,
summarize and present orally for class discussion or will be asked to develop discussion
questions for graduate seminar.

Grading Scale:

98-100 A+     “As” are awarded for excellent to exceptional work, free of technical and stylistic
93-97 A       errors, showing sustained thought and engagement with the material on an appropriate
90-92 A-      but impressive academic level.
88-89 B+
              “Bs” are awarded for good to very good work, with some occasional errors, which
83-87 B
              nonetheless clearly indicates a good grasp of the material and assigned task.
80-82 B-
78-79 C+      “Cs” are awarded for average to above average work, meeting minimal standards but
73-77 C       marked with errors, and exposing gaps in student performance and/or fulfillment of the
70-72 C-      assignment.
68-69 D+
              “Ds” are awarded for barely passing to below average work, usually riddled with errors
63-67 D
              and seriously deficient in fulfilling the assignment.
60-62 D-
Below 60 F    “Fs” are awarded for unacceptable work.

1. To impart knowledge about the technique and practice of yoga, including instruction in breath
control, meditation, and physical postures at an intermediate level
2. To develop physical competency and mental concentration at a more advanced level.
3. To gain an intellectual and theoretical understanding of the principles embodied in the Yoga
Sutras, the Bhagavad-Gita, and other important texts and doctrines at an intermediate level.

1. Students will gain understanding of yoga philosophy and religion at a more advanced level

2. Students will gain intellectual and philosophical understanding of the theory of yoga and an
understanding of the key principles embodied in the text, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali at a more
advanced level.
3. Students will gain enhanced physical skill and conditioning including increased flexibility,
strength, coordination, endurance, and breath control will be enhanced.
4. Students powers of concentration, focus, and awareness will be heightened.
5. Students will develop research skills in writing a term paper at the masters level, based on
solid research and analysis.

 The Bhagavad-Gita, meaning “Song of the Lord” is the sixth sacred text of the great Indian
  war epic, the Mahabharata. Composed in the form of a philosophical poem and dialogue
  between the warrior Arjuna and his charioteer, the god Krishna, the Bhagavad-Gita has
  inspired centuries of Indian philosophers and men of wisdom and deeply influenced the
  religious and cultural life of the Indian subcontinent.
 The Yoga Sutras (or thread) delineate yoga’s aim, the necessary practices, the obstacles
  along the path, their removal and the precise descriptions of the results that will be obtained
  from the practice. This is the primary text of Raja Yoga or the mental science of yoga.

1. Verbal instruction through lectures and class discussion
2. Posture demonstrations
3. Class participation I and practice of postures, breathing, and meditation techniques
4. Reading and written assignments

Students are required to read the books listed below during the course of the semester. Readings
should provide source material for writing the mid-term and final term paper. Students are
encouraged to read some of the optional listings as well. Optional substitute books are
acceptable if approved by instructor.

Required: Students are required to read ALL of the following texts:

Tiamni. The Science of Yoga. Wheaton, Illinois: Quest Books, Theosophical Publishing House,
Walsh, Roger. Essential Spirituality. New York: John Wiley and Sons, l999.

Optional, recommended research sources:
Cope, Steven. Yoga and the Quest for the True Self
Dwyer, Wayne. The Power of Intention
Definitive Step-by-Step Guide to Dynamic Yoga. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2000.
Gardner, Lawrence, Lost Secrets of the Sacred Ark
Kashyap, S. and Gayatri. Little Book of the Self: Jewels in the Crown of Self-Realization. Santa
Fe, NM: Wisdom Wave. 2000.
Iyengar, B.K. S. Light on Yoga
Iyengar, B.K. S. Light on Pranayama
Laszlo, Ervin. Science and the Akashic Field. Inner Traditions: Rochester, Vermont, 2004.
Mascaro, Juan, translator. The Upanishads. London, England: Penquin Books, 1965.
Mullin, Glenn H., Trans. Gems of Wisdom, from the Seventh Dalai Lama. Ithaca, New York:
        Snow Lion Publications,1999.
Scott, John. Astanga Yoga: The Definitive Step-by-Step Guide to Dynamic Yoga. New York:
   Three Rivers Press, 2000.
Sri Aurobindo. Integral Yoga..
Stoler Miller, Barbara. Translator. The Bhagavad-Gita. New York and London: Bantam
Books, l986.
Talbot, Michael. The Holographic Universe, Harper Collins, NY, NY: 1991.
Wilbur, Ken, A Brief History of Everything and A Theory of Everything



After the first two classes, class will begin promptly. Attendance will be taken at that time, and
all who are not present will be marked absent. Attendance at all classes is a requirement.
Students who know in advance that they will be late or absent must discuss their tardiness or
absence with Professor Seidel.

Students are expected to attend every class session unless very ill or family emergency.
Each absence, no matter what the reason, affects the continuity of training and learning, and
therefore will affect the student’s grade. Students who are unable to
participate physically are expected to observe class and take notes on technical corrections and
observations of the class pedagogy. Three late arrivals, three early departures, and/or three
observations will result in one absence. The attendance policy is outlined below:

0 absence = A+
2 absences = A
3 absences = B+
4 absences = B/B- etc...

Students who register late will not be penalized during the drop-add period, however your late
registration must appear on the official University role received each week by the faculty.

Special arrangements can be made with the instructor in the event of illness, injury, or life
commitments. If a sustained injury or illness prevents you from participating in class, a letter
from your physician must be presented in order to be excused and observe. If unable to
participate in class for two weeks or more, a meeting should be arranged with the instructor. An
incomplete is only given if circumstances beyond your control prevent you from completing
course requirements. An incomplete must be completed within two terms.

The journal provides an opportunity for cultivating self-discipline, self-reflexivity, and personal
analysis of one’s progress in yoga. Students are required to write in their journal a minimum of
one page 3 times per week (more is recommended). The journal should focus on the assigned
topic to promote an analysis of the practice including areas of struggle, blocks that arise, and

progress and breakthroughs made in both physical and mental aspects of the discipline. The
journal should be kept in a bound notebook that is turned in to the instructor at mid-term and on
the first day of the last week of class. Please identify your entries as Week I: Journal Entry 1, 2,
and 3; Week II, Entry 1, 2, 3, etc. The professor’s intention in reading the journal is to provide
guidelines and suggestions for enhancing and creating a more satisfactory practice. Please write
legibly and typing is welcome! If the journal is typed, the student simply staples pages together.

The mid-term consists of a take-home essay topic based on class readings, as well as in-class
instruction and any relevant independent readings. The mid-term exam question is outlined
below so that you may focus your reading throughout the first half of term on these questions.

                                 MID-TERM EXAM QUESTION

Discuss the yogic path to enlightenment and self-realization as related to the terms listed below
through an analysis of the yoga sutras. Reference both Taimni and Fuerstein’s texts. You need
not incorporate supplemental texts but may do so if necessary for clarification. Include in your
discussion, a comprehensive definition of all the terms, with references to specific sutras as
relevant. Use standard reference citations. Please highlight in bold italics the terms in the
sections where you incorporate your definitions (terms will be forthcoming at midterm).

TERM PAPER (proposal and final paper):

Term Paper Proposal: Topics must be determined through consultation with Professor Seidel. A
two page proposal with preliminary bibliographies is due 4-5 weeks after the beginning of the

Term Paper: The term paper will entail analyzing and discussing a topic based on course
material. Students should use as the basis of their paper a topic or theme from the Yoga Sutras.
The length of the term paper should be between 15-17 pages. It should be printed and double-
spaced. Margins should be one inch all around. The style of your paper should be consistent and
conform to either that of The Chicago Manual of Style, or MLA style (see and follow the link to the proper
style). Also, please make an extra HARD COPY of every document composed and make an
electronic back-up copy. Submit the hard copy only. The term paper should follow the proposal
submitted earlier in the semester with revised and complete bibliographies. The term paper is due
on the first day of the last week of class. The term paper constitutes 40% of the course grade.


Late Work:
All late work, without prior approval by the professor, will lose 10 points for each day that it is
late until the grade of 0 is reached. When the assignment is graded, the grading will start at the
late grade.

Class Attire:
Comfortable workout clothes (sweat pants, warm-up pants, loose pants, etc.) Bare feet. No
dangling jewelry or gum. Long hair should be tied back.

General Advice:
The most important thing to remember in this class is to stay focused and concentrated in class,
be absolutely punctual and rigorous about attendance, and keep up with the assignments. If you
fall behind, you will have problems catching up; however, if you budget your time you will have
no problems. The second most important thing to remember is to talk to me if you are having
problems. I am the one who can provide the answer to your questions. If you are having
difficulties come talk to me BEFORE an assignment is due or if you have excessive absences. I
cannot help you after you have turned in an assignment or have been chronically absent or tardy,
but I can and will help you before the problems develop.

I check e-mail often. It is reasonable to expect a return message within 72 hours. Generally I
return e-mail in a much shorter amount of time; however, sometimes life does not allow that.
However, please review the syllabus often, as most of the answers can be found there.

                       Questions and comments should be sent to


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